AN ANALYSIS OF THE 2013 SOUTH SUDAN INTRA-STATE CONFLICT: CAUSES, IMPACTS AND THE ROLE OF IGAD IN RESOLVING THE CONFLICT

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Generally,  this  study  examines  the  causes  of  the  2013  South  Sudan  intra-state

conflict, impacts of the conflict and the role of IGAD in resolving the conflict. The study examines the underlying factors that caused the 2013 South Sudan conflict from various angles and perspectives. Consequently, it examines the impacts of the 2013 South Sudan conflict before discussing the role of IGAD in resolving the conflict and finally concludes with a raft of recommendations aimed at bringing sustainable peace in South Sudan. The study set out two hypotheses namely that the outbreak of the 2013 conflict in South Sudan can be partly attributed to weak institutional framework to address the underlying issues, and secondly the adoption of wrong mediation approaches by IGAD contributed to the lack of effective conflict  resolution  in the 2013 South  Sudan  conflict.  Qualitative research methodology was used in the course of collecting and analyzing data by employing both primary and secondary sources as method of data collection. The study which depended largely on secondary data with intermediate use of maps to present the information was situated within the structural violence theory.

The  study  ascertained  that  the  underlying  causes  of  2013  South  Sudan  conflict include; elite power struggle, dismissal of Riek Machar and key officials, bad governance and  weak  institutional capacities,  corruption,  natural  resource and  poor social  service, socio-economic and political inequalities, lack of effective disarmament, demobilization and re-integration, and  historical distrust between the Nuer and the Dinka. The study concludes that the underlying causes of 2013 South Sudan intra-state conflict are deeply linked  with  weak  governance  in  the  post-independence  period.  Weak  institutional capacities, corruption, socio-economic inequalities, bad governance, elite power struggle and lack of effective disarmament, demobilization and re-integration all contributed to the environment in which 2013 South Sudan conflict unfolded. The study also found out that that South Sudan conflict that commenced in 2013 had grave repercussions. For instance, the conflict resulted to food insecurity, abduction and recruitment of child soldiers, gender based and sexual violence, displacement of people and violation of human rights.

The study established that IGAD has played a relentless role in resolving South Sudan conflict that commenced in 2013. First IGAD managed to bring together all the member states in the IGAD region to support the peace process of South Sudan. IGAD also played the role of a facilitator to the peace process. IGAD mobilized resources from within member states to effectively conduct the peace talks. The study also found out that the IGAD-led mediation faced a number of challenges including, the challenge of an inclusive peace process, divergent and incompatible IGAD member interests, lack of sincere commitment and political will on the part of warring parties to implement peace agreement, inconsistency of the warring parties and challenge of trust building mediation. To attain a lasting peace in South Sudan, the study recommends that IGAD should formulate mechanisms on how to induce grass root participation in the framework of resolving South Sudan conflict. IGAD countries should also do more to foster peaceful resolution of South Sudan conflict. The study further recommends that collective action should be taken by IGAD-Plus against any party responsible for violations of the 2015 peace agreement. The study as well recommends that the Transitional Government of National Unity of South Sudan should take the necessary steps to reform the institutions of governance. Lastly, this study recommends that the AU should speedily establish South Sudan Hybrid court so as to try alleged perpetrators of gross human rights violations.

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